Many people think that mission workers need to be preachers, teachers, doctors, or nurses to serve overseas. But Tony and Martha Hinton—a trained auto mechanic and a speech pathologist—prove that God can use people who are willing to go where He sends them—no matter what their skills are.
Tony and Martha served in Papua New Guinea (PNG) through Wycliffe Bible Translators for 15 years. They went to PNG because they had always had a desire to go where the need is greatest. They told the Lord that He could put them anywhere.
While speech language pathologists are not always directly needed on the field, and Wycliffe wasn’t sure one was needed in PNG, God put Martha there for a specific purpose. She worked with several children who needed academic assistance and enabled their families to continue serving in PNG. Without her assistance, those mission workers would have had to return to their home countries so their kids could receive that kind of help. Her story is a perfect example of how God puts people in the right place at the right time.
Tony and Martha also responded to the need there for four-wheel drive and motorcycle training as well as water-safety training. For many years JAARS has helped mission workers in PNG immensely by providing four-wheel drive vehicles and motorcycles—a necessity in this place often crisscrossed with muddy roads and huge potholes!
Now serving at JAARS (Wycliffe’s partner for technical services), Tony is serving as part of our solution to the maritime- and land-transportation safety issues our field partners overseas experience. On the water-safety team, he teaches people who are preparing to serve overseas how to respond if their boats capsize and how to prevent such a situation. He also teaches the four-wheel drive and motorcycle courses so people can learn how to operate vehicles safely on potentially hazardous roads.
Martha also has ample opportunities to use her God-given talents at JAARS. As an educational consultant, she connects families while they’re on furlough and overseas with homeschooling options, special education, and various other school-related resources.
Not only have Tony and Martha found a home at JAARS, but their children, Sarah and Caleb, have also found a home here. Caleb tells people he is from the Waxhaw area, where JAARS is located in North Carolina. When the Hintons came back to the U.S. to bring Sarah to college in 2016, Caleb found a “home away from home” at JAARS by connecting with the youth group. Through this group, he found teens who had been where he was—kids who understood the life of a missionary kid.
Tony and Martha have truly adopted JAARS as their new home as they begin roles here. God led them to PNG, and now he has led them to JAARS. Their lives are an example of what God can do when we are willing to let him put us anywhere.
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Source: jaars.org. Story by Karissa Uhlig